Does Scott Woodward Secretly Regret this Non-Conference Schedule?

There's a classic episode of Seinfeld where Kramer takes it upon himself to break Jerry's malfunctioning stereo to pieces and then mail it back to Jerry. Kramer's idea was to file a claim for the "damage" that ensued during shipment. When Jerry finds out, he scolds Kramer for lacking integrity. Kramer tells him that the post office will write it off and that these big companies write off everything. Jerry finally gets Kramer to acknowledge he doesn't know what a write off is. But there's no stopping Kramer, and as he walks away, Jerry mutters to himself, "I wish I had the last twenty seconds of my life back."

When looking at Washington's non-conference schedule this year, it's the most uninspiring stretch of opponents faced since a century ago when UW padded win totals with high schools and battleships stationed in Bremerton.

After sitting through games against Hawaii, Eastern Washington, Illinois and (for God's sake) Georgia State, it makes you wonder if Woodward would do it the same way again. Was it worth it, this attempt to prop up former coach Steve Sarkisian? It feels like the season has gotten underway for everybody else, but not for Washington until next Saturday vs. Stanford. And it makes me mutter, "I wish I had the last month of my life back."

Yesterday's first half against Georgia State was about as uninspired as things get. To boot, the Huskies trailed 14-0 heading into the locker room, and the boos raining down from the crowd were the first I'd heard since the 2010 Stanford game.

Have we learned anything about this year's team after the 4-0 start? Not really, except that they're not good enough to beat anybody by just showing up. There has to be some desire and want-to.

We've also seen that despite Steve Sarkisian's widespread reputation as an offensive genius and quarterback guru, he left a bare cupboard in regards to signal callers.

Lastly, we've seen that the Sark stink remains on these players. Petersen's cleansing process is ongoing.  A telling comment came in yesterday's post-game presser, when Petersen was asked if he had foreseen this lackadaisical effort.   

"Nope. I thought we practiced hard," Petersen said. "I thought we had probably our best week of practice. I think for whatever reason, you lose your edge for one second around here, that’s exactly what will happen.”

"Around here", Petersen has inherited a group of players who take after their former coach. Sark always exhaled after wins to soak up the glory and thereby lose focus for the next opponent.

But unlike Sarkisian, Petersen won't claim he's "Playing with House Money" after he reaches bowl eligibility with his sixth win sometime this season.

It makes you wonder, when Woodward sits in solitude to reflect, does he acknowledge that this team and its fans would have been better served with a more substantive non-conference schedule?  


Derek Johnson's columns appear each Sunday night.